I’m watching, this word, this test of all tests, this reason that being a Christian is one of the hardest things I can imagine.Forgiveness. It’s the thorn in the flesh, it’s the burr in your pocket, it’s the boil, begging to be lanced. It hurts and it isn’t fair and nothing prepares you for the release of the DUE punishment that someone should have. It can’t be so simple can it? That murderer, that adulterer, that liar, that cheat. They hurt me, were indifferent to suffering, raped another. Someone was tortured, someone believes in another way, someone judged us, someone gutted us with their hatred. The reasons to NOT forgive are endless. We want justice don’t we? We want another to pay for their crimes, their sins against us.The politician, the neighbor, the parent, the teacher, the cop, the corporation, the banks, the cheating mate, the indifferent friend, our boss, our doctor, the bus driver, the bill collector. We can’t just let them go free when they deserve to be punished can we?
It’s coming on Easter….the leading of the cross up a hill, bloody and beaten and forsaken. His friends left him, the people for whom he came traded his life for a murderer. He is naked and he is broken and they laughed and mocked him.He is nailed, nailed by his hands and his feet on a cross. There is nothing fair or right or just about this. He is innocent. He is perfect, and they nailed him and beat him and whipped him.” Crucify him” they screamed. Such thirst, such bewildering sadness. He hangs.
His dying words, through bloodied lips
“Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.”
So much to think about this week, leading up to Easter. I stand before the bloodied truth of the gospel that cries out Forgive. While I see a reflection of myself in the light of his words. I falter and I break. I lay low. I am the one who cried out to crucify. I am the one who judges that which I fear. I am the one who hates another. I know the stench of the truth. If I think I am without sin…I am a liar. If I curse my brother on the Interstate when he cuts me off in traffic, I am the murderer. If I stretch the truth to another, I am the liar, If I lust in my heart for another, I am the adulterer. These are the words. These are the teachings of one who truly has forgiven, every one of us… Forgive, that you might be forgiven.
It’s coming on Easter…the message is clear. I am searching my heart to clear the veil between this magnificent gift of love and me. If I don’t forgive, if I won’t forgive, there will be no truth or love or acceptance of the gift.” Forgive me Father I do know what I must do…..help me to do it…”
Sweet love to you friends…